His eyes light up and his grin fills his face as he runs toward me and throws his arms around me. His name is Jonathan, and he is my younger son. His laughter and dancing fill my heart, and his fearless instills, well, fear.
His older brother, Stephen, never stops talking. And every other sentence is “I love you.” He has a wild and wonderful imagination, and a heart of gold.
Having two boys, after growing up with only one sister, is unchartered territory. The waters are sometimes rough with little boy energy and crashes that result in bruises from racing the dump trucks and fire engines across the room. It is a never-ending cycle of vigilance — after all, we are trying to train their hearts to seek the things of Heaven, not of this Earth.
When I think of them as teenager, my heart and stomach lurch in tandem. I know we aren’t ready. We are clueless. But this I do know. My Heavenly Father, who created the sun, the moon, the stars that fill the sky and the fish that swim in the sea — this very same God created me, and created my children to be a part of my family. Before the foundation of the Earth, He knew us completely. And as much as I love my sons– as much I glory in the hugs and snuggles, and the I love yous, my God loves them more.
And this God has armed us with the tools and equipment to teach these boys, these men-in-training. I have been so blessed by the blogging community for leading me to amazing parenting books like How to Have a H.E.A.R.T For Your Kids, by Rachael Carman, and Shepherding a Child’s Heart, by Tedd Tripp. I have also been blessed by fellow bloggers and their books: Tammy Wollner and Keeping His Way Pure, and Brooke McGlothlin with 21 Days of Prayer for Sons.
But even more important than any of those books is my own relationship with God. I have been learning (the hardway) that my default is not always “nice” or “patient” Mommy. I take things personally, and I definitely do not act like the grace dispenser that I yearn to be for my kiddos. But the best news of all is that not only does God love my children more than I do — he loves me that much, too.
With all my failings and faults, my temper and tongue, He loves me still. He has accepted me, just as I am, into complete and total fellowship, and relationship with Him. And when I see my life in the framework of that unending, amazing love, everything is a bit more beautiful.
No – I don’t have the answers, and the years to come still scare me a bit – but my faith and hope are in the One Who IS, who WAS, and ALWAYS WILL BE. And in the meantime, I will steal just another hug.About Meredith… Meredith was born, raised, and now raises her family (with her husband Randy) in the beautiful state of Maine. Together, they are planting a church, relying on God every step of the way. She also has the privilege of being the band director for the town where they live. Life is full, busy, and full of laughter and music. Meredith’s home on the web is My Journey to Authenticity.